Radha Yadav, batters lead India to 5-0 T20I series sweep over Bangladesh

India 156 for 5 (Hemalatha 37, Mandhana 33, Harmanpreet 30, Nahida 2-27, Rabeya 2-28) beat Bangladesh 135 for 6 (Moni 37, Radha 3-24, Asha 2-25) by 21 runs

India extended their dominance over Bangladesh to complete a 5-0 T20I series sweep with a 21-run win in the fifth and final game in Sylhet on Thursday. India posted 156 for 5 after opting to bat, thanks to strong hands from D Hemalatha, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and a late cameo from Richa Ghosh. Though Ritu Moni and Shorifa Khatun fought back in the second half of the chase after Radha Yadav’s three-wicket burst, it wasn’t enough for a consolation win for Bangladesh.

Radha, on her comeback for India after being off the national radar for a year, ended the series as the most successful bowler with ten wickets, which got her the Player-of-the-Series award to go with the Player-of-the-Match award for her three-wicket haul on Thursday.

Coming off a 2-1 T20I series defeat at home against Australia, India will be happy to have produced a convincing series victory in Bangladesh, where the T20 World Cup will be held in October. Bangladesh, though, have now lost eight T20Is in a row now, five here and three earlier against Australia, all at home.

But, despite losing five wickets by the halfway stage in the chase, Bangladesh went past the 120-run mark for the first time in the series, thanks to Moni’s 33-ball 37 and Shorifa’s unbeaten 28 from 21 balls. However, there was little of note from the other batters.

Titas Sadhu gave India their first breakthrough when she removed Sobhana Mostary for a nine-ball 13 in the third over. In the next over, Radha struck, dismissing Dilara Akter as she miscued a pull to mid-off. Radha’s third double-wicket over of the series came in the ninth of the innings when she knocked out Nigar Sultana’s stump with a loopy delivery that spun in, and three balls later, she trapped Rubya Haider lbw for 20. After that over, she had figures of 2-0-4-3. She finished with 3 for 24 after being targeted by Moni and Shorifa.

After ten overs, Bangladesh were 52 for 5, needing 105 from the remaining 60 balls.

But Moni fought back. She charged down the track against the spinners, used width when it was on offer to score towards backward point, and played a ramp shot to Pooja Vastrakar as well. With Shorifa , she shared a 57-run partnership off 41 balls for the sixth wicket, bringing the equation down to 53 runs from 24 balls. However, S Asha, playing her second T20I, dismissed Moni in the 17th over to end Bangladesh’s hopes. Asha finished with 2 for 25 from her four overs.

Hemalatha, Mandhana, Harmanpreet and Ghosh shine with the bat

With Bangladesh sloppy in the field, India raced to 71 for 2 after ten overs, Mandhana and Hemalatha taking control after Shafali Verma, playing her 100th international game, fell early. Mandhana, in particular, showed good intent in her 25-ball 33, hitting four clean fours and an inside-out six over extra cover off offspinner Sultana Khatun. However, she was given out lbw in the eighth over, with replays suggesting that the ball hit her pad just outside off stump as she missed with an attempted back-foot punch. No DRS meant Mandhana had to go.

Hemalatha, at No. 3, started slowly, scoring 13 off her first 17 balls. She was also dropped when on 8. However, she accelerated, finding her touch soon to score 37 off 28 balls. This included two powerful hits to long-on and long-off for sixes and two fours – a sweep and a swpie over midwicket after charging down the track.

India’s innings really took off when she was joined by Harmanpreet. The two scored 60 off 42 deliveries for the third wicket with the India captain chipping in with a 24-ball 30. After a run-a-ball 12, Harmanpreet picked up her pace, hitting three fours off Moni in the 13th over. However, Harmanpreet’s wicket – trapped lbw by left-arm spinner Nahida Akter when she went across for a sweep shot – triggered a mini collapse as India went from 122 for 2 to 124 for 5 in six balls.

After a few quiet overs, Ghosh injected some impetus into the innings, teeing off to hit an unbeaten 28 off 17 balls, hitting three fours and a six over the bowlers’ head to help India ger past 150, which was well beyond Bangladesh’s reach.

Srinidhi Ramanujam is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo